Latin America

"The Passion of Cañete", an Easter tradition in Peru

"La Pasión de Cañete" is a representation of the Passion of Christ that is traditionally performed in Peru every Holy Week.

Jesus Colquepisco-April 4, 2024-Reading time: 2 minutes
Passion of Cañete

A scene from "The Passion of Cañete".

140 kilometers south of Lima lies the province of Cañete, the "Blessed Valley", as St. Josemaría Escrivá called it during his visit to the province. Peru in July 1974. During Holy Week, one of the most recognized stagings of the Passion of Christ in Peru, the "Passion of Cañete", organized by the Prelature of Yauyos and the ACAR Cañete (Agrupación Cañetana Artístico Recreativa), is represented there during Holy Week.

The traditional staging (begun in 1966) is performed every Holy Week in the facilities of the Mother of Fair Love Sanctuary, one of the main religious-cultural destinations in San Vicente de Cañete. It lasts approximately two hours and includes, among others, the impressive biblical passages of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, Judas' betrayal, Peter's denial, and the Passion, death, and resurrection of the Lord.

Scene from "The Passion of Cañete".

For Holy Week 2024, the presentation days were Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday, the latter two being the most attended by more than 2,000 people per day, a total of seven thousand attendees during the week.

Origins of the Passion of Cañete

Enrique Pélach, first Vicar General of the Prelature of Yauyos, who for the Holy Week of 1966 motivated the people of San Vicente de Cañete to represent the mystery of the passion and death of Jesus. At that time the ACAR (Agrupación Cañetana Artístico-Recreativa) was formed, which integrated the actors for the Passion. Later the text of the Passion received some adjustments and adaptations from Monsignor Esteban Puig, a Spanish priest who directed the staging during an important period.

The only time the Passion of Cañete was not represented was between 2008 - 2012 due to works in the Sanctuary because of the earthquake of August 2007; as well as between 2020 - 2022 due to the Pandemic of COVID-19.

ACAR and the Prelature of Yayos

ACAR Cañete currently has 200 people on stage under the direction of Julio Hidalgo. Among them are local actors, sound engineers, lighting technicians, make-up artists, props and costume personnel. The representative of the Prelature is Felix Cuzcano, Episcopal delegate for the Passion Play.

The ACAR and the Prelature of Yauyos have received various civilian recognitions for the contribution of the Passion to the faith and culture of the Province of Cañete.

Attendees at the traditional Peruvian performance
The authorJesus Colquepisco

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